- apt or liable to vary or change; changeable: variable weather; variable moods.
- capable of being varied or changed; alterable: a variable time limit for completion of a book.
- inconstant; fickle: a variable lover.
- having much variation or diversity.
- Biology. deviating from the usual type, as a species or a specific character.
- Astronomy. (of a star) changing in brightness.
- Meteorology. (of wind) tending to change in direction.
- Mathematics. having the nature or characteristics of a variable.
- something that may or does vary or change; a variable feature or factor.
- Mathematics, Computers.
- a quantity or function that may assume any given value or set of values.
- a symbol that represents this.
- Logic. (in the functional calculus) a symbol for an unspecified member of a class of things or statements.Compare bound variable, free variable.
- Astronomy. variable star.
- a shifting wind, especially as distinguished from a trade wind.
- variables,doldrums(def 2a).
Origin of variable
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for variable
AirBnB allows for connections: host to guest, guest to city, and any other variable you can think of.My Life as an Illegal AirBnb Landlord
June 10, 2014
Throughout the process the program throws in random changes in a command or variable— these are mutations.This is What Happens When You Teach Machines the Power of Natural Selection
February 1, 2014
This allowed them to isolate the variable under study: receipt of multivitamins.How Lobbyists Will Keep You Hooked on Vitamins
Paul A. Offit
December 21, 2013
Environmental lead abatement does a better job of explaining the crime decrease than almost any other variable.Eric Holder’s Decision to Back Away From Mandatory Drug Sentences Is a Positive Step
August 12, 2013
Vosshall designed her pilot study to weed out this variable.Mosquitoes Love Some People More and Science Wants to Know Why
August 6, 2013
The variable (an audible) part of the roadway for an automobile.The Devil's Dictionary
Variable hyphenation of god(-)like has been preserved as in the original.Andr
The answer has been as variable as the purpose of the questioners.Mountain Meditations
In all the variable years that followed she never saw the like of it again.Howards End
E. M. Forster
Archaic and variable spelling and hyphenation are preserved.Browning's England
Helen Archibald Clarke
- liable to or capable of changevariable weather
- (of behaviour, opinions, emotions, etc) lacking constancy; fickle
- maths having a range of possible values
- (of a species, characteristic, etc) liable to deviate from the established type
- (of a wind) varying its direction and intensity
- (of an electrical component or device) designed so that a characteristic property, such as resistance, can be variedvariable capacitor
- something that is subject to variation
- logic a symbol, esp x, y, z, representing any member of a class of entities
- computing a named unit of storage that can be changed to any of a set of specified values during execution of a program
- astronomy See variable star
- a variable wind
- (plural) a region where variable winds occur
Word Origin and History for variable
late 14c., of persons, from Old French variable, from Latin variabilis "changeable," from variare "to change" (see vary). Of weather, seasons, etc., attested from late 15c.; of stars, from 1788.
"quantity that can vary in value," 1816, from variable (adj.). Related: Variably; variability.
- Likely to change or vary; subject to variation; changeable.
- Tending to deviate, as from a normal or recognized type; aberrant.
- Having no fixed quantitative value.
- Something that varies or that is prone to variation.
- A quantity that is capable of assuming any of a set of values.
- A mathematical quantity capable of assuming any of a set of values, such as x in the expression 3x + 2.
- A factor or condition that is subject to change, especially one that is allowed to change in a scientific experiment to test a hypothesis. See more at control.